How to Find the Best Online Storage Services

obrBy Denise Sullivan — Last Updated: 25 Jan'16 2015-05-25T09:05:13+00:00Google+

Online storage providers are rapidly becoming more popular. However, with the rise in the number of people saving items to the cloud, more companies are being Because there are so many different options to choose from, it is getting harder to figure out what is the best choice when it comes to picking a service. Here are some tips to help find the best online storage service.

Storage Size Limitations

There are a lot of online storage options available. While there may be some companies that claim to have unlimited storage, very few actually honor that phrase. Before you purchase any storage from any provider, you need to understand storage size and how it meets your needs.

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Some companies offer free storage. Typically, these are restrictive sizes of 2GB to 15GB, enough to store many important files and photos, but probably not enough to store everything. Companies frequently give users the ability to earn additional storage by completing selected tasks. All of these providers also have paid tiers that will allow users to buy additional storage.

Before making a purchase, the user should understand how much storage is provided and how easy it is to upgrade or downgrade the account.

File Size Limitations

Some online storage services place limitations on what a customer can store. Some cloud drives are designed to only hold image files; others will hold any file type but only up to a specific size.

Online Storage

It is important for users to understand what the limitations are. For professional photographers, graphic designers, or programmers, these restrictions may make a particular provider unacceptable. Those who don’t verify the limitations prior to purchasing a subscription, can be subject to frustration and wasted money and time.

Backup vs Storage

Many of the big name sites such as:

are geared towards storage and sharing of files. This is good for anyone who needs or wants to be able to put files and photos in the cloud for friends, family members, and co-workers to see.

Not all providers work as an easy share virtual storage unit. Some are strictly backup providers. That means that the information that is saved there is kept in case it needs to be restored at a later time. There is limited access from multiple devices and no sharing between friends or co-workers. These services have their place and are a great option for those who just want to keep information safe with an option to restore.

Security

Consumers need to understand what kind and level of security the cloud storage provider actually offers. While all online providers have some form of security, not all of them have protocols that keep employees from being able to access the files or encrypt the files prior to being transferred to their servers.

While some users might have information that doesn’t necessarily matter if it is encrypted both in transit and at rest, others have very sensitive information that should be kept protected at all times. Additionally, only a few providers allow the consumers to keep the encryption key and have no access to the data stored within their drives.

Features

Not all online storage services have the same features. Although most storage will allow users to share files, there may be other items that differ greatly between providers. Some offer a variety of editing tools so that users may work together on a series of documents. Others offer a wide array of photo editing software in order to make pictures look their best.

Online Storage

Some consumers just want a place to stack their files so that they can free up space on their hard drive while others want the area to be useful. It all depends on what the needs are and how many bells and whistles the user wants from the provider.

Pricing

Cost is always a factor to be considered when trying to find the best online storage service. While there are free options, there are often limitations to the account either on account size, file size or features. It is important to know what you are getting with a free or paid service and whether it is worth the price you are going to pay.

Paid packages also need to be scrutinized because you could be paying more than necessary. It is important to make sure that the cost is in proportion to your needs. Customers should also verify that any subscriptions can be cancelled at any time, for any reason, in case of issues.


In the end, it is all dependent on what the user wants and needs out of their online storage service. Researching companies is the only way to make sure you get the best provider to meet your needs. Asking others who are already subscribers is one way to get information on how they like a company, however, not everyone has the same needs so further investigation is necessary.

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